MARCH 30-31

Proverbs 30:7-9 - Agur's Prayer to God

Verse 7: "Two things have I
[Agur] required [asked] of thee [you (God)]; deny me them not [please grant these requests] before I die:"

Verse 8
[Agur's two requests]: "[1] Remove far from me vanity [pride, plus falsehoods (or deception) in general] and lies [spoken falsehoods] [in other words, Agur wants God to keep him honest in thought, word, and deed]: [2] give me neither poverty nor riches [don't let me be poor or rich]; feed me with food convenient [suitable] for me [in other words, Agur wants God to provide for his family's daily needs]:"

Verse 9
[Reasons for Agur's second request]: "Lest I be [so I won't be] full [satisfied, filled], and deny thee [you, referring to God], and say, Who is the LORD? [i.e., Agur doesn't want to forget about God, or think that he doesn't need God at all and that it's not necessary to obey him and serve him] or lest I [so I won't] be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain [i.e., Agur didn't want to be tempted to dishonor God in any way, or treat him without respect]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, in these verses, Agur is asking God for help in overcoming "his two most spiritually damaging besetting sins": i.e., lying and pride (with an apparent weakness regarding material goods, or possessions).

Agur asked God to "… take away his tendency to lie… to stretch the truth… to be dishonest… to embellish… to exaggerate… to leave out important details in a story on purpose… to manipulate… to deceive…" because he was well aware of his sinful nature and did not want to be tempted do anything to offend God. That's why he also asked for just enough money--no more and no less than was actually needed--to provide for his family's needs.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on these verses, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_7-9/.
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Regarding riches and poverty, Albert Barnes' writes: 'The special dangers of the two extremes. Wealth tempts to pride, unbelief, and a scorn [scornful attitude] like that of Pharaoh…; poverty [tempts] to, dishonesty, and then to perjury [giving false testimony under oath, as in court], or to the hypocritical [false] profession of religion …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html, "Verse 9")

MARCH 29

Proverbs 29:15: "The rod
[a thin, pliable (bendable) stick (like the small, flexible 'rod' that comes with mini blinds) used for punishment, as in spanking] and reproof [verbal correction when someone is doing wrong] give wisdom [to the person being disciplined]: but a child left to himself [or herself, meaning an undisciplined child, who is spoiled, neglected, or allowed to do what he or she wants to do] bringeth his [or her] mother to shame [i.e., humiliates or embarrasses her]."

In paragraph 3 of his commentary on the above verse, under the section entitled "But a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame," Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church points out that:

"b. If a child becomes self-willed and leads a sinful life BECAUSE his parents did not train or discipline him (both verbally and physically with a rod), then shame on those parents!

"c. But we should note that sometimes, even with good training and good, consistent discipline, a child (who has a will of his own) will sometimes CHOOSE to reject all counsel and training.

"d. In that case, shame on the child, not the parents. They did what God commanded them to do. They are to be praised.

"e. A set of parents could have identical twins, give them both the exact same teaching and training, the same discipline, the same school, the same home, the same church, the same everything… and one could become a faithful missionary and the other could become a serial killer.

"f. There are no guarantees with kids-not when every human being has his own free will to make choices in life."

A little earlier in the commentary (paragraph C1d, last bullet), Pastor Delany cautions: "It is never ok to use the rod without the verbal reproof and reasoning… assuming the child is old enough to reason with."

If you want to read the the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_15/.

MARCH 27-28

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - Dealing With Disobedience in Bible Times

Verse 18: "If a man
[or woman] have a stubborn and rebellious son [or daughter], which will not obey the voice of his [or her] father, or the voice of his [or her] mother, and that, when they [the parents] have chastened [corrected, disciplined, punished] him [or her], [the child] will not hearken unto [listen to] them [the parents]:"

Verse 19: "Then shall his
[or her] father and his [or her] mother lay hold on him [or her, meaning the disobedient child], and bring him [or her] out unto the elders [the older men who are in charge] of his [or her] city [i.e., the city where the child lives], and unto the gate of [entrance to] his [or her] place [city];

Verse 20: "And they
[the parents] shall say unto the elders of his [or her, referring to the child's] city, This our son [or daughter] is stubborn and rebellious, he [or she] will not obey our voice [will not do what we tell him/her to do]; he [or she] is a glutton [meaning he/she eats too much], and a drunkard [meaning he/she drinks too much]."

Verse 21: "And all the men of his
[or her--the child's] city shall stone him [or her--the disobedient son or daughter] with stones, [so] that he [or she] die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all [of the people in the nation of] Israel shall hear [the screams, or hear about what happened], and [shall be filled with] fear."

Stubborn and rebellious children were stoned in Bible times.

Nowadays, in America, people (mostly grown-ups) have to commit very serious crimes in order to receive the death penalty in the states that still have it (see note below*), and some criminals end up spending the rest of their lives in prison instead. I remember a time when people who received the death penalty in America were sent to the "electric chair," which was a very horrific and painful way to die. Its name even sounds bad.

Currently, around the world, "There are nine common methods of execution which include: hanging, shooting by firing squad, shooting, beheading, lethal injection, stoning, gas chamber, electrocution, and falling from an unknown height …" (Source: "Methods of Execution," http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/methods-of-execution.cfm)

Fear of severe punishment, like the methods mentioned above, normally discourages criminal behavior, just as stoning stubborn and rebellious children helped to "put evil away" in Bible times.
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Regarding the law of Moses, Matthew Henry writes in his commentary:

"Here is, I. A law for the punishing of a rebellious son … Observe,1. How the criminal is here described. He is a stubborn and rebellious son, v. [verse] 18. No child was to fare the worse for the weakness of his capacity, the slowness or dulness of his understanding, but for his wilfulness and obstinacy. If he carry himself proudly and insolently towards his parents, contemn [treat with contempt] their authority, slight their reproofs and admonitions, disobey the express commands they give him for his own good, hate to be reformed by the correction they give him, shame their family, grieve their hearts, waste their substance, and threaten to ruin their estate by riotous living-this is a stubborn and rebellious son. He is particularly supposed (v. 20) to be a glutton or a drunkard. This intimates either, (1.) That these were sins which his parents did in a particular manner warn him against, and therefore that in these instances there was a plain evidence that he did not obey their voice. … Note, In the education of children, great care should be taken to suppress all inclinations to drunkenness, and to keep them out of the way of temptations to it; in order hereunto they should be possessed betimes with a dread and detestation of that beastly sin, and taught betimes to deny themselves. Or, (2.) That his being a glutton and a drunkard was the cause of his insolence and obstinacy towards his parents. Note, There is nothing that draws men into all manner of wickedness, and hardens them in it, more certainly and fatally than drunkenness does. When men take to drink they forget the law, they forget all law … even that fundamental law of honouring parents …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/deuteronomy/21.html, "Verses 18-23")
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*According to the Pew Research Center, almost half of the states in the U.S. do not have the death penalty, and many of the states that have it don't use it. (Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/03/14/11-states-that-have-the-death-penalty-havent-used-it-in-more-than-a-decade/)

MARCH 26

Galatians 5:9
[This is the apostle Paul's warning to Christians about the teaching of false doctrine (religious beliefs)]: "A little leaven [yeast] leaveneth the whole lump [of dough]."

During baking, a small amount of yeast makes all of the dough ferment and rise. Applying this thought to the Bible, a little false teaching ("A little leaven") can spread throughout the church and have a bad influence on many Christians ("the whole lump").

MARCH 25

Proverbs 25:14: "Whoso
[whoever] boasteth himself [or herself] of a false gift [i.e., the person who makes false promises] is [a discouragement and disappointment to the general public] like clouds and wind [which normally accompany rainy weather] without rain [are discouraging and disappointing to farmers living in dry regions of the world, who need the rain in order to grow their crops]."

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that this verse is about "… dishonest people who make wonderful promises and claims that they have no intention of keeping." Examples include scam artists, "snake oil" salesmen, "health and wealth" gospel preachers, politicians, and people promoting pyramid schemes.

Here are some excerpts from the pastor's commentary:

"6. Snake oil has earned a bad reputation over the years. It has lost its luster and shine. But the snake oil salesman is still alive and well.

"a. He has simply developed a new line of products for his modern customers.

"b. Today he uses the internet. There you can boast of a false gift to thousands of people all at once!

"c. He sends out emails to his potential customers with a claim that is sure to radiate in their gullible little minds: a wealthy widow in Qatar is dying of cancer and is hoping that you would be willing to manage her six million dollar estate."

"7. But the false gift is not only boasted by salesman.

"a. We have the 'gospel of health and wealth' folks today making grandiose promises to gullible Christians.
" Send in $100 and God will multiply your gift 10 fold!
" Be a big time supporter of our ministry and you might get a front row seat in our healing service… and your chances of getting healed are multiplied.
" But their promises are 'false gifts.'"

"» Satan made a grandiose promise to Adam and Eve: eat this fruit and ye shall be as gods!
"» But it was designed to be deceptive…"

"b. And then there are the Bernie Madoffs of the world-who promise a great return on your investment… except that it is the old pyramid trick.
" People were promised glowing reports of success. He boasted of great returns.
" But it was a false gift… and in the end, it caused hundreds of individuals and businesses to lose their shirt… for him to end up in jail and his son to commit suicide.

"c. And certainly we have seen this countless times on both sides of the aisle in the political arena: politicians who make grandiose promises… but do not fulfill them.
" Sometimes they were deceitful, empty words designed only for the campaign to get him into office-never intended to carry through with them.
" Sometimes he makes promises naively, assuming he will be able to change Washington… and discovers that he cannot keep his promise."

The commentary ends with this:

"6. Not only are we warned not to be duped by such people, but we are also warned not to make promises that we do not fulfill."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_14/.

MARCH 23-24

Proverbs 23:19--21 - The Results of Drunkenness and Gluttony
In these verses, King Solomon is giving his son some fatherly advice.

Verse 19: "Hear thou [listen], my son, and be wise [make wise decisions], and guide thine [your] heart in the [right] way [direction--mentally, emotionally, and spiritually]."

Verse 20: "Be not among
[don't hang out with] winebibbers [alcoholics, drunkards--people who drink to excess]; [or] among riotous eaters of flesh [gluttons--people who eat too much]:"

Verse 21: "For
[because] the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty [become poor]: and drowsiness [excessive sleepiness or laziness, especially due to drunkenness] shall clothe [dress] a man [a person] with rags [old and torn clothing … because he/she won't be able to work to earn the money to buy nice things]."

Once again, King Solomon warns us to stay away from bad people, especially alcoholics and gluttons. That's because, as Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church points out in his commentary on these verses, "… Those you associate with WILL have an effect on you whether we want to admit it or not." And if you don't "… avoid the company of winebibbers and riotous eaters of flesh: you will end up poor, lazy, and dressed in rags."

Here are some excerpts from Pastor Delany's commentary on these verses:

Paragraph 1 of the section discussing the drunkard and glutton says:

"g. We can either LOVE God, or LUST after earthly things.
" Solomon mentioned two types of earthly lusts (eating and drinking) because they are so common to man.
" But there are MANY other things that we can lust after: material goods; the big house on the hill; boats; money; prestige; fame; fancy cars; fancy clothes; sex; drugs; pleasure; etc.
" Just as food and drink are CONSUMED by the drunkard and the glutton, so all kinds of earthly things can be consumed by us with just as much lust and excesses.
" This proverb is just as applicable to those who lust after 'other things' as it is to those who lust after food and wine."

Paragraph 2 of that same section says:

"e. Choosing to please self and live for pleasure eventually leads to poverty.
" Living for selfish pleasure leads to poverty because lust is expensive.
" Drugs and alcohol are expensive.
" Going out to eat all the time in fancy restaurants is expensive.
" Developing expensive tastes can bring a man to poverty …
" Of course there is application to things other than food and drink. This applies just as well to clothing, shopping, buying cars, houses, and 1001 other things."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_19-21/
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MARCH 22

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10: "The thing that hath been
[done (or that has happened) in the past in regard to nature and human life], it is that which shall be [repeated, over and over]; and that which is done [in the present] is that which shall be done [in the future]: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof [of which] it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been [in existence] already of old time, which was before us."

In other words, everything that happens has happened before. For example:

-- In his commentary on verse 10, John Gill said: "… look into the natural world [i.e., nature], and the same natural causes will be seen producing the same effects; or into the moral world, and there are the same virtues, and their contrary; or into the political world, and the same schemes are forming and pursuing, and which issue in the same things, peace or war; or into the learned world, and the same languages, arts, and sciences, are taught and learned; and the same things said over again … or into the mechanic world, and the same trades and businesses are carrying on …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ecclesiastes/1-10.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

-- Also commenting on verse 10, Mark Dunagan said: "… Our memories are short-lived. What we think is new is only new to us. And it is very easy to see the above truth once you have lived for some time. Fashions, trends, hairstyles, kids names, music, etc….all end up coming back. Things go out of style and then they come back in style. And what one generation was tired of, another generation greedily exclaims, 'this is the greatest!'"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ecclesiastes/1-10.html, "Mark Dunaghan Commentary on the Bible")

MARCH 21

Proverbs 21:9: "It is better to dwell
[live alone, be by yourself] in a corner of the housetop [referring to the roof--see note below*], than [to live together] with a brawling [arguing, fighting, nagging] woman in [inside] a wide [large] house."

Nagging wives tend to drive their husbands away. Maybe that's why the original "man cave" was created.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. In the "brawling woman" section, it contains many examples of how wives nag their husbands (about money, their children, "honey do" lists, dirty laundry, forgetfulness, laziness, Bible reading, bills, their friends, etc.). Additionally, it points out that:

"r. She [the nagging wife] is constantly correcting him [her husband]… pointing out his faults… reminding him of his failures… shortcomings… sins…

"s. She argues over her husband's personality, his attitude, his sloppiness, his language, his lousy driving… and the list goes on endlessly."

The commentary even tells why polygamy (having more than one husband or wife at the same time) is not a good idea. (Did you know that King Solomon, who wrote this proverb, had 700 wives and 300 concubines? Consequently, he could be probably be considered an "expert" on nagging and polygamy.)

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-21-index/proverbs-21_9/.
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*Houses had flat roofs in Bible times.

MARCH 20

Revelation 12:12
[After seeing a heavenly vision, the apostle John wrote]: "Therefore rejoice [be filled with joy or happiness], ye heavens, and ye that dwell [live] in them [referring to God's angels and to all of the babies and born-again Christians who have died]. Woe [great sorrow or distress is coming] to the inhabiters [occupants] of the earth and of the sea! for [because] the devil [has been cast (thrown) out of heaven and] is come down unto you, having great wrath [anger], because he knoweth that he hath but a short time [left, to wage war with the saints (born-again Christians) on earth prior to end-time events--specifically, the rapture (when all true Christians will disappear from the earth and be taken to heaven), followed by the great tribulation (seven years when the Antichrist will be in charge on earth), followed by the millennium (or thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth--see note below*)]."

The "clock is ticking" for the devil, and he is running out of time. That's why there is so much evil in the world today and why it keeps getting worse each day.
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*Revelation 20:1-3: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years [of peace on earth, also known as the millennium] should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed [set free] a little season [for a little while]."

Revelation 20:10: "And the devil that deceived them [i.e., 'the nations'] was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast [the Antichrist] and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

MARCH 19

Proverbs 19:19: "A man
[or woman or child] of great wrath [anger] shall suffer punishment [or 'pay a price']: for if thou deliver [or rescue] him [or her] [once, from trouble], yet thou must do it again [and again]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, which focuses on dealing with uncontrolled anger.

Here is an excerpt from the section entitled "The Consequences of His Sin":

"h. Demonstrating anger in public can cause you embarrassment.

"i. It can be more serious if results in arguments and loss of friends.

"j. It can have a more serious penalty if it causes you to lose your job.

"k. It can be even worse if you end up killing someone out of anger and are sent to death row.

"l. The penalties for anger vary greatly depending upon the circumstances."

The section entitled "The Futility of Delivering Him" has the following excellent advice on tough love:

"2. But here Solomon states how futile it is to try to bail out an angry man from the messes he makes for himself.

"3. If you deliver him (bail him out of the mess he made), you will just have to do it again… and again… and again… and again…

"4. In other words, Solomon says, let him suffer the divinely appointed punishment that anger deserves.

"5. If you keep on bailing him out, he never pays the price… and thus never learns the lesson.

"6. That is hard to do if it is a loved one. However, sometimes love has to be tough.

"a. But remember what he said in vs. [verse] 18 [of Proverbs]: 'Let not your soul spare for his crying.'

"b. That same principle parents need to employ in dealing with LITTLE children have to employ in dealing with GROWN children too.

"c. Hearing the little child cry breaks the heart of the parent spanking the child.

"d. Solomon says: Don't stop spanking. They NEED to learn the lesson. Don't allow emotion to cause you to ROB that child of the discipline he needs to learn from the lesson.

"e. The same truth is found in the next passage. This is really the same kind of situation-only an advanced case.

"f. Don't allow your emotions to cause you to bail him or her out of trouble. They need to learn the lesson the hard way… by paying the price.

"7. If you don't take heed… and you keep bailing him out, you will find yourself stuck in a revolving door… an endless cycle of bailing him out… and because he didn't pay the price, he didn't learn the lesson, and doesn't control his anger, and thus it will explode again… only to start the cycle all over again…

"8. At some point you have say, 'Enough is enough. It's time to pay the price.'"

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_19/
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MARCH 18

Proverbs 18:7: "A fool's
[big] mouth is [the reason for] his [or her] destruction [ruined life], and his [or her] lips are the snare of [trap for] his [or her] soul."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that a person's "foolish, thoughtless, arrogant, insensitive, careless, mean-spirited speech" can result in his or her ruin, and he gives examples of  how the bad things that we do with our lips (lie, deceive, brag and boast, curse, threaten, blaspheme, gossip, etc.) have consequences--from something as minor as embarrassment to something serious, like being kicked out of school or having to spend time in prison.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_7/.

MARCH 17

Psalm 118:1: "O give thanks unto the LORD
[God]; for he is good: because his mercy [kindness, compassion, forgiveness of sins] endureth [continues, lasts] for ever."

MARCH 16

Proverbs 16:29: "A violent man
[an immoral and/or cruel person, especially if he/she enjoys hurting others,] enticeth [tempts, lures, persuades] his [or her] neighbour [or friend, relative, acquaintance (someone he/she knows, but not very well), companion, etc.--in particular, one who is gullible or naive] [to sin], and leadeth him [or her, meaning the 'neighbour'] into the way that is not good."

In this proverb, we are being warned to stay away from bad people and bad behavior. Consequently, we should avoid associating with the following types of people: gang members, troublemakers, drug addicts, drug dealers, alcoholics, gamblers, loan sharks, robbers, adulterers, fornicators, etc.

In other words, according to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Do not be partakers of other men's sins."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_29/
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MARCH 15

Proverbs 15:3: "The eyes of the LORD are in every place
[everywhere in the universe], beholding [watching, observing] the evil and the good [referring to 'bad' and 'good' people and the bad and good things that they do]."

It's impossible to hide from Almighty God, who is omnipresent (present in all places at all times) and omniscient (all-knowing). In addition to seeing and hearing the things that humans normally see and hear, God is able to read the thoughts of everyone on earth, and he also knows everything that is being, and has been, said and done in secret.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Here are some reminders from paragraph 8 (near the end of the commentary) for the times when we are tempted to sin:

"d. Knowing this truth about God [i.e., that he is omniscient] has a wholesome effect on our lives.
" When you are thinking about cheating on a science test at school… or you are planning to not do your homework and think you can get away with it tonight… God knows.
" When you think that I can loaf at work today because the boss is away on a business trip… God sees.
" When you think that you can give a sweet and syrupy answer… and harbor bitterness in your heart at the same time… God sees our heart."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_3/.

Commenting on the above verse, Matthew Henry said, "… The wicked shall not go unpunished, nor the righteous unrewarded, for God has his eye upon both and knows their true character; this speaks as much comfort to saints [born-again Christians] as terror to sinners [unsaved people]." (Source for quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/15.html, "Verse 3")

MARCH 14

Proverbs 14:7: "Go from the presence of
[go away from] a foolish man [or woman or child], when thou perceivest not [you don't discern, observe, detect, sense] in him [or her] the lips [language, speech] of knowledge [understanding, wisdom]."

When you realize that someone is a fool, walk away (and/or stay away) from him or her.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including examples of why we shouldn't associate with fools (in this case, referring to people who are not necessarily stupid but who refuse to listen and learn). It also tells us what to look for when meeting someone for the first time, because "… Fools don't normally introduce themselves as such. … They don't say, 'Glad to meet you. I'm your local fool.' … 'I hate wisdom; I despise authority; I'm immoral; I refuse correction, and I am headed for trouble. What's your name?'"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_7/.

Regarding the above verse, another Bible commentator said: "Avoid the company and conversation of ungodly men, when they break forth into foolish or wicked discourses, lest thou either be infected by them, or seem to approve of them." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-7.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

MARCH 13

Proverbs 13:20: "He
[or she] that walketh [through life] with wise men [or women or children, referring to the person who spends lots of time with people who are wise] shall be wise: but a companion [close friend] of fools shall be destroyed [or morally ruined]."

As the saying goes, "A man is known by the company he keeps." Consequently, we need to choose our friends carefully.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse and shows the various ways (both good and bad) in which friends and companions can influence our behavior. For example, for our friends, we should choose people who are wise, who love God and the Bible, and who encourage us and give good advice, and we should stay away from violent, angry people and those who drink too much, abuse drugs, and/or do other bad things.

The above commentary ends with the following caution:

"c. If the ones you commune with on a daily basis… fellowship together with… are evil, it will have a corrupting effect on your life!
"» Your love for holiness will be adversely affected.
"» Your attraction to earthly things will increase.
"» Your fear of God will be diminished.
"» Your horror over sin will be neutralized.
"» Your resolve to obey God's Word will be weakened.
"» Your separation from the world will be compromised.
"» Your zeal to evangelize will cool down…
"» You may not notice it at first, but it will happen… gradually… a change will take place in your life.
"» If you see that beginning to happen FLEE! Seek good, godly fellowship and friendship."

If you want to read this commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_20/.

Commenting on the above verse, Adam Clarke wrote: "To walk with a person implies love and attachment; and it is impossible not to imitate those we love. So we say, 'Show me his company, and I'll tell you the man.' Let me know the company he keeps, and I shall easily guess his moral character." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/13-20.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

MARCH 12

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically (i.e., from illnesses, injuries, etc.) and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

MARCH 11

Proverbs 11:14: "Where no counsel
[direction, guidance, advice--especially good spiritual advice] is, the people [individuals as well as kingdoms, nations, etc.] fall [into ruin and destruction, or are defeated]: but in the multitude [abundance, large number] of counsellors [advisers] there is safety."

We all need excellent advice before making important decisions.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. It includes many examples of how wise counsel, or good advice, can help people succeed, plus reasons why people refuse to accept advice (mostly due to pride) and why getting advice from more than a few people at a time is a good idea.

According to Pastor Jim Delany, who wrote the commentary, sometimes it's sufficient to get advice from only one or two people. However, there are times when you need input from many more than that. This is what he said in the last half of the commentary about having a multitude of counsellors:

"2. Multitude = abundance;

"a. It is possible to get TOO MANY opinions and cause more confusion.

"b. But get AMPLE… an abundance for the situation… plenty… don't skimp on advice.

"c. Get GOOD advice. Ask spiritually minded people for help and guidance… folks who know God and who know His word.

"d. When you get a multitude of spiritually minded people all pointing you in the same direction… all telling you the same thing… that is a good indication that the counsel is sound!

"e. If you are debating whether to go into business with Fred and you ask two people, you might get two different answers… and cause confusion and cloud up the issue.

"f. But if you ask 25 people about going into business with Fred and 23 out of 25 tell you that Fred is lazy and dishonest, stay away-you would do well to listen to that multitude of counselors!

"g. Two opinions might confuse the issue. A multitude may clarify matters considerably."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_14/
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MARCH 10

Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the LORD
[in this case, probably referring to the earthly (physical) blessings (riches, material possessions, etc.), rather than spiritual blessings, that come from God], it maketh [a person] rich, and he [God] addeth no sorrow with it."

God's blessings (especially when accompanied by hard work on our part) come without worries or regrets. Consequently, we should appreciate and enjoy the good things that we have, and we should thank God for them.

Salem Bible Church has two commentaries on this verse. If you want to read one or both of them, here are the links:

-- https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-10-index/proverbs-10_22/
-- https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-10-index/proverbs-10_22b/

The following are excerpts from the first commentary (listed above) showing how some people try to get rich (and usually fail to do so) without God's help:

"6. Some men seek for riches without diligence [hard work]…

"a. Gambling and casino betting is all based on this aspect of human nature-get rich quick!"

"7. Others seek riches by diligence … and ignore GOD as the source of blessing."

"c. Ecc. [Ecclesiastes] 9:10 - Work your hardest and do your best! (man's responsibility)
" [Ecclesiastes] vs. [verse] 11 - but don't ever ignore the sovereignty of God!
" The race is not always to the fastest runner! (He could have a cold that day; trip over his shoestrings; the sole of his sneaker could come apart;
" A ski racer-he could be the best-but he could always hit a patch of ice…
" The battle isn't always to the biggest, best equipped and best trained soldiers either! Consider Israel against Egypt! How could the Egyptians ever have imagined that they would be defeated? Who could have imagined the Red Sea opening!?
" Bread is not always to the wise! You may make the wisest investments humanly possible on Wall Street-and the unthinkable could occur… war could break out… a new technology could render your investment obsolete…
" A farmer could work his hardest planting his crops-and the Lord may hold back on the rain…
" Robert Burns put it this way: The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley (often go astray)!"

MARCH 8-9

Matthew 8:23-27 - Jesus Calms the Storm

Verses 23-24: "And when he
[Jesus] was entered into a ship [probably a sailboat, or a fishing boat with sails] [on the Sea of Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee)], his disciples [referring to the twelve men who were later called apostles] followed him [Jesus] [into the ship]. And, behold [look, see], there arose a great tempest [violent storm] in the sea, insomuch [so] that the ship was covered with the waves [and in danger of sinking]: but he [Jesus] was asleep."

Verses 25-26: "And his disciples came to him, and awoke
[awakened] him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish [or, 'save our lives; we are perishing,' which meant, 'help us or we'll die']. And he [Jesus] saith [said] unto them, Why are ye fearful [afraid], O ye of little faith? Then he arose [stood up], and rebuked [restrained, brought under control, held back] the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm [state of tranquility, or calmness of the sea]."

Verse 27: "But the men marvelled
[were amazed, astonished, filled with wonder], saying, What manner [kind] of man is this [referring to Jesus], that even the winds and the sea obey him!"

The disciples realized that Jesus was not an ordinary man, because only God could have performed a miracle like this. And according to the Bible, that's exactly what Jesus was (and is)--the Son of God, or God the Son, in human form.

In addition to proving that Jesus is God, this story shows that God answers prayer, even for those with "little faith."

MARCH 7

1 John 4:19: "We
[Christians] love him [God], because he first loved us."

God loves us unconditionally. To find out what that means, read this article: "Is God's love conditional or unconditional?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-love.html.

MARCH 4-6

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - The Rapture
In a letter to the Christians at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, wrote:

Verse 13: "But I [Paul] would not have you to be ignorant [lacking in knowledge] [about the rapture], brethren [brothers (and sisters), referring to believers (fellow Christians) in the church], concerning them which are asleep [in this case, meaning Christians who are dead], [so] that ye sorrow not [you aren't overwhelmed by sadness or grief from their loss], even as [are] others [i.e., unsaved people] which have no hope [of resurrection and eternal life, and of seeing their loved ones again in heaven]."

Verse 14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
[i.e., the souls/spirits of born-again Christians who have died] will God [the Son--Jesus] bring with him [at the rapture]."

Verse 15: "For this we
[Paul, Silas, and Timothy] say unto you by the word of the Lord [by a direct revelation from God], that we [Christians] which are alive and remain [survive] unto [until] the coming of the Lord [in this case, referring to the rapture] shall not prevent [precede, or go before] them which are asleep [i.e., dead, meaning that the bodies of Christians who have died will be resurrected first]."

Verse 16: "For
[because,] [at the rapture,] the Lord [Jesus Christ] himself shall descend [come down] from heaven with a shout [from himself], [and] with the voice of the archangel [probably the voice of Michael, who is one of the most important and most powerful angels of God], and with [the sound of] the trump [trumpet] of God: and the dead in Christ [i.e., the bodies of born-again Christians who have died] shall rise [up from the dead and be reunited with their souls/spirits] first:"

Verse 17: "Then we which are alive and remain
[on earth] shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected Christians] in the clouds [with our newly changed, immortal bodies--see verse below*], to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever [forever, always] be with the Lord [Jesus Christ] [in heaven]."

Verse 18: "Wherefore [therefore,] [Christians,] comfort [encourage] one another with these words."

Nobody knows when the rapture will occur. It could happen today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or many years from now. Hopefully, you'll be among the Christians who "disappear" at that time.

For an in-depth explanation of the rapture, read "What Will Happen At the Rapture?" by Dr. Raymond Barber. Here's the link: https://www.soulwinning.info/prophecy/rapture-raymond_barber.htm.

If you want to take part in the rapture but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website at
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

If you're a born-again Christian and love the Bible, you may be interested in what T.W. Tramm has to say. He has done much research on the Bible and is an expert on the fulfillment of prophecy, especially as it relates to the rapture. He has a Facebook page and periodically posts updates on the rapture in light of current events. His latest entry, dated March 2 and entitled "Spring Is Near," is very interesting and encouraging for Christians. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/twtramm/.
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*1 Corinthians 15:51-53: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

MARCH 1-3

Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of the LORD
[which means not only being afraid of Almighty God (especially of disobeying, displeasing, or offending him in any way), but also having great respect, admiration, and love for him] is the beginning of knowledge: but fools [people who do not fear God] despise [hate] wisdom and instruction."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church explains the meaning of the phrase fear of the LORD and tells why fearing God is the principal part of knowledge. He says that having the fear of God will help us know many things, including: (1) how to avoid marital problems, (2) why we are here, (3) where the sun and moon came from, (4) how we can get to heaven, (5) how to deal with the problem of self-control (over things like alcohol, drugs, lust, sexual sins, greed, anger, etc.), and (6) the right way to bring up our children.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_7/.


Previous Verses
March 2019
MARCH 30-31

Proverbs 30:7-9 - Agur's Prayer to God

Verse 7: "Two things have I
[Agur] required [asked] of thee [you (God)]; deny me them not [please grant these requests] before I die:"

Verse 8
[Agur's two requests]: "[1] Remove far from me vanity [pride, plus falsehoods (or deception) in general] and lies [spoken falsehoods] [in other words, Agur wants God to keep him honest in thought, word, and deed]: [2] give me neither poverty nor riches [don't let me be poor or rich]; feed me with food convenient [suitable] for me [in other words, Agur wants God to provide for his family's daily needs]:"

Verse 9
[Reasons for Agur's second request]: "Lest I be [so I won't be] full [satisfied, filled], and deny thee [you, referring to God], and say, Who is the LORD? [i.e., Agur doesn't want to forget about God, or think that he doesn't need God at all and that it's not necessary to obey him and serve him] or lest I [so I won't] be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain [i.e., Agur didn't want to be tempted to dishonor God in any way, or treat him without respect]."

According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, in these verses, Agur is asking God for help in overcoming "his two most spiritually damaging besetting sins": i.e., lying and pride (with an apparent weakness regarding material goods, or possessions).

Agur asked God to "… take away his tendency to lie… to stretch the truth… to be dishonest… to embellish… to exaggerate… to leave out important details in a story on purpose… to manipulate… to deceive…" because he was well aware of his sinful nature and did not want to be tempted do anything to offend God. That's why he also asked for just enough money--no more and no less than was actually needed--to provide for his family's needs.

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on these verses, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-30-index/proverbs-30_7-9/.
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Regarding riches and poverty, Albert Barnes' writes: 'The special dangers of the two extremes. Wealth tempts to pride, unbelief, and a scorn [scornful attitude] like that of Pharaoh…; poverty [tempts] to, dishonesty, and then to perjury [giving false testimony under oath, as in court], or to the hypocritical [false] profession of religion …" (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html, "Verse 9")

MARCH 29

Proverbs 29:15: "The rod
[a thin, pliable (bendable) stick (like the small, flexible 'rod' that comes with mini blinds) used for punishment, as in spanking] and reproof [verbal correction when someone is doing wrong] give wisdom [to the person being disciplined]: but a child left to himself [or herself, meaning an undisciplined child, who is spoiled, neglected, or allowed to do what he or she wants to do] bringeth his [or her] mother to shame [i.e., humiliates or embarrasses her]."

In paragraph 3 of his commentary on the above verse, under the section entitled "But a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame," Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church points out that:

"b. If a child becomes self-willed and leads a sinful life BECAUSE his parents did not train or discipline him (both verbally and physically with a rod), then shame on those parents!

"c. But we should note that sometimes, even with good training and good, consistent discipline, a child (who has a will of his own) will sometimes CHOOSE to reject all counsel and training.

"d. In that case, shame on the child, not the parents. They did what God commanded them to do. They are to be praised.

"e. A set of parents could have identical twins, give them both the exact same teaching and training, the same discipline, the same school, the same home, the same church, the same everything… and one could become a faithful missionary and the other could become a serial killer.

"f. There are no guarantees with kids-not when every human being has his own free will to make choices in life."

A little earlier in the commentary (paragraph C1d, last bullet), Pastor Delany cautions: "It is never ok to use the rod without the verbal reproof and reasoning… assuming the child is old enough to reason with."

If you want to read the the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-29-index/proverbs-29_15/.

MARCH 27-28

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - Dealing With Disobedience in Bible Times

Verse 18: "If a man
[or woman] have a stubborn and rebellious son [or daughter], which will not obey the voice of his [or her] father, or the voice of his [or her] mother, and that, when they [the parents] have chastened [corrected, disciplined, punished] him [or her], [the child] will not hearken unto [listen to] them [the parents]:"

Verse 19: "Then shall his
[or her] father and his [or her] mother lay hold on him [or her, meaning the disobedient child], and bring him [or her] out unto the elders [the older men who are in charge] of his [or her] city [i.e., the city where the child lives], and unto the gate of [entrance to] his [or her] place [city];

Verse 20: "And they
[the parents] shall say unto the elders of his [or her, referring to the child's] city, This our son [or daughter] is stubborn and rebellious, he [or she] will not obey our voice [will not do what we tell him/her to do]; he [or she] is a glutton [meaning he/she eats too much], and a drunkard [meaning he/she drinks too much]."

Verse 21: "And all the men of his
[or her--the child's] city shall stone him [or her--the disobedient son or daughter] with stones, [so] that he [or she] die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all [of the people in the nation of] Israel shall hear [the screams, or hear about what happened], and [shall be filled with] fear."

Stubborn and rebellious children were stoned in Bible times.

Nowadays, in America, people (mostly grown-ups) have to commit very serious crimes in order to receive the death penalty in the states that still have it (see note below*), and some criminals end up spending the rest of their lives in prison instead. I remember a time when people who received the death penalty in America were sent to the "electric chair," which was a very horrific and painful way to die. Its name even sounds bad.

Currently, around the world, "There are nine common methods of execution which include: hanging, shooting by firing squad, shooting, beheading, lethal injection, stoning, gas chamber, electrocution, and falling from an unknown height …" (Source: "Methods of Execution," http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/methods-of-execution.cfm)

Fear of severe punishment, like the methods mentioned above, normally discourages criminal behavior, just as stoning stubborn and rebellious children helped to "put evil away" in Bible times.
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Regarding the law of Moses, Matthew Henry writes in his commentary:

"Here is, I. A law for the punishing of a rebellious son … Observe,1. How the criminal is here described. He is a stubborn and rebellious son, v. [verse] 18. No child was to fare the worse for the weakness of his capacity, the slowness or dulness of his understanding, but for his wilfulness and obstinacy. If he carry himself proudly and insolently towards his parents, contemn [treat with contempt] their authority, slight their reproofs and admonitions, disobey the express commands they give him for his own good, hate to be reformed by the correction they give him, shame their family, grieve their hearts, waste their substance, and threaten to ruin their estate by riotous living-this is a stubborn and rebellious son. He is particularly supposed (v. 20) to be a glutton or a drunkard. This intimates either, (1.) That these were sins which his parents did in a particular manner warn him against, and therefore that in these instances there was a plain evidence that he did not obey their voice. … Note, In the education of children, great care should be taken to suppress all inclinations to drunkenness, and to keep them out of the way of temptations to it; in order hereunto they should be possessed betimes with a dread and detestation of that beastly sin, and taught betimes to deny themselves. Or, (2.) That his being a glutton and a drunkard was the cause of his insolence and obstinacy towards his parents. Note, There is nothing that draws men into all manner of wickedness, and hardens them in it, more certainly and fatally than drunkenness does. When men take to drink they forget the law, they forget all law … even that fundamental law of honouring parents …"

(Source for above quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/deuteronomy/21.html, "Verses 18-23")
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*According to the Pew Research Center, almost half of the states in the U.S. do not have the death penalty, and many of the states that have it don't use it. (Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/03/14/11-states-that-have-the-death-penalty-havent-used-it-in-more-than-a-decade/)

MARCH 26

Galatians 5:9
[This is the apostle Paul's warning to Christians about the teaching of false doctrine (religious beliefs)]: "A little leaven [yeast] leaveneth the whole lump [of dough]."

During baking, a small amount of yeast makes all of the dough ferment and rise. Applying this thought to the Bible, a little false teaching ("A little leaven") can spread throughout the church and have a bad influence on many Christians ("the whole lump").

MARCH 25

Proverbs 25:14: "Whoso
[whoever] boasteth himself [or herself] of a false gift [i.e., the person who makes false promises] is [a discouragement and disappointment to the general public] like clouds and wind [which normally accompany rainy weather] without rain [are discouraging and disappointing to farmers living in dry regions of the world, who need the rain in order to grow their crops]."

In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that this verse is about "… dishonest people who make wonderful promises and claims that they have no intention of keeping." Examples include scam artists, "snake oil" salesmen, "health and wealth" gospel preachers, politicians, and people promoting pyramid schemes.

Here are some excerpts from the pastor's commentary:

"6. Snake oil has earned a bad reputation over the years. It has lost its luster and shine. But the snake oil salesman is still alive and well.

"a. He has simply developed a new line of products for his modern customers.

"b. Today he uses the internet. There you can boast of a false gift to thousands of people all at once!

"c. He sends out emails to his potential customers with a claim that is sure to radiate in their gullible little minds: a wealthy widow in Qatar is dying of cancer and is hoping that you would be willing to manage her six million dollar estate."

"7. But the false gift is not only boasted by salesman.

"a. We have the 'gospel of health and wealth' folks today making grandiose promises to gullible Christians.
" Send in $100 and God will multiply your gift 10 fold!
" Be a big time supporter of our ministry and you might get a front row seat in our healing service… and your chances of getting healed are multiplied.
" But their promises are 'false gifts.'"

"» Satan made a grandiose promise to Adam and Eve: eat this fruit and ye shall be as gods!
"» But it was designed to be deceptive…"

"b. And then there are the Bernie Madoffs of the world-who promise a great return on your investment… except that it is the old pyramid trick.
" People were promised glowing reports of success. He boasted of great returns.
" But it was a false gift… and in the end, it caused hundreds of individuals and businesses to lose their shirt… for him to end up in jail and his son to commit suicide.

"c. And certainly we have seen this countless times on both sides of the aisle in the political arena: politicians who make grandiose promises… but do not fulfill them.
" Sometimes they were deceitful, empty words designed only for the campaign to get him into office-never intended to carry through with them.
" Sometimes he makes promises naively, assuming he will be able to change Washington… and discovers that he cannot keep his promise."

The commentary ends with this:

"6. Not only are we warned not to be duped by such people, but we are also warned not to make promises that we do not fulfill."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-25-index/proverbs-25_14/.

MARCH 23-24

Proverbs 23:19--21 - The Results of Drunkenness and Gluttony
In these verses, King Solomon is giving his son some fatherly advice.

Verse 19: "Hear thou [listen], my son, and be wise [make wise decisions], and guide thine [your] heart in the [right] way [direction--mentally, emotionally, and spiritually]."

Verse 20: "Be not among
[don't hang out with] winebibbers [alcoholics, drunkards--people who drink to excess]; [or] among riotous eaters of flesh [gluttons--people who eat too much]:"

Verse 21: "For
[because] the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty [become poor]: and drowsiness [excessive sleepiness or laziness, especially due to drunkenness] shall clothe [dress] a man [a person] with rags [old and torn clothing … because he/she won't be able to work to earn the money to buy nice things]."

Once again, King Solomon warns us to stay away from bad people, especially alcoholics and gluttons. That's because, as Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church points out in his commentary on these verses, "… Those you associate with WILL have an effect on you whether we want to admit it or not." And if you don't "… avoid the company of winebibbers and riotous eaters of flesh: you will end up poor, lazy, and dressed in rags."

Here are some excerpts from Pastor Delany's commentary on these verses:

Paragraph 1 of the section discussing the drunkard and glutton says:

"g. We can either LOVE God, or LUST after earthly things.
" Solomon mentioned two types of earthly lusts (eating and drinking) because they are so common to man.
" But there are MANY other things that we can lust after: material goods; the big house on the hill; boats; money; prestige; fame; fancy cars; fancy clothes; sex; drugs; pleasure; etc.
" Just as food and drink are CONSUMED by the drunkard and the glutton, so all kinds of earthly things can be consumed by us with just as much lust and excesses.
" This proverb is just as applicable to those who lust after 'other things' as it is to those who lust after food and wine."

Paragraph 2 of that same section says:

"e. Choosing to please self and live for pleasure eventually leads to poverty.
" Living for selfish pleasure leads to poverty because lust is expensive.
" Drugs and alcohol are expensive.
" Going out to eat all the time in fancy restaurants is expensive.
" Developing expensive tastes can bring a man to poverty …
" Of course there is application to things other than food and drink. This applies just as well to clothing, shopping, buying cars, houses, and 1001 other things."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_19-21/
.

MARCH 22

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10: "The thing that hath been
[done (or that has happened) in the past in regard to nature and human life], it is that which shall be [repeated, over and over]; and that which is done [in the present] is that which shall be done [in the future]: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof [of which] it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been [in existence] already of old time, which was before us."

In other words, everything that happens has happened before. For example:

-- In his commentary on verse 10, John Gill said: "… look into the natural world [i.e., nature], and the same natural causes will be seen producing the same effects; or into the moral world, and there are the same virtues, and their contrary; or into the political world, and the same schemes are forming and pursuing, and which issue in the same things, peace or war; or into the learned world, and the same languages, arts, and sciences, are taught and learned; and the same things said over again … or into the mechanic world, and the same trades and businesses are carrying on …"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ecclesiastes/1-10.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")

-- Also commenting on verse 10, Mark Dunagan said: "… Our memories are short-lived. What we think is new is only new to us. And it is very easy to see the above truth once you have lived for some time. Fashions, trends, hairstyles, kids names, music, etc….all end up coming back. Things go out of style and then they come back in style. And what one generation was tired of, another generation greedily exclaims, 'this is the greatest!'"

(Source for quote:
https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ecclesiastes/1-10.html, "Mark Dunaghan Commentary on the Bible")

MARCH 21

Proverbs 21:9: "It is better to dwell
[live alone, be by yourself] in a corner of the housetop [referring to the roof--see note below*], than [to live together] with a brawling [arguing, fighting, nagging] woman in [inside] a wide [large] house."

Nagging wives tend to drive their husbands away. Maybe that's why the original "man cave" was created.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. In the "brawling woman" section, it contains many examples of how wives nag their husbands (about money, their children, "honey do" lists, dirty laundry, forgetfulness, laziness, Bible reading, bills, their friends, etc.). Additionally, it points out that:

"r. She [the nagging wife] is constantly correcting him [her husband]… pointing out his faults… reminding him of his failures… shortcomings… sins…

"s. She argues over her husband's personality, his attitude, his sloppiness, his language, his lousy driving… and the list goes on endlessly."

The commentary even tells why polygamy (having more than one husband or wife at the same time) is not a good idea. (Did you know that King Solomon, who wrote this proverb, had 700 wives and 300 concubines? Consequently, he could be probably be considered an "expert" on nagging and polygamy.)

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-21-index/proverbs-21_9/.
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*Houses had flat roofs in Bible times.

MARCH 20

Revelation 12:12
[After seeing a heavenly vision, the apostle John wrote]: "Therefore rejoice [be filled with joy or happiness], ye heavens, and ye that dwell [live] in them [referring to God's angels and to all of the babies and born-again Christians who have died]. Woe [great sorrow or distress is coming] to the inhabiters [occupants] of the earth and of the sea! for [because] the devil [has been cast (thrown) out of heaven and] is come down unto you, having great wrath [anger], because he knoweth that he hath but a short time [left, to wage war with the saints (born-again Christians) on earth prior to end-time events--specifically, the rapture (when all true Christians will disappear from the earth and be taken to heaven), followed by the great tribulation (seven years when the Antichrist will be in charge on earth), followed by the millennium (or thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth--see note below*)]."

The "clock is ticking" for the devil, and he is running out of time. That's why there is so much evil in the world today and why it keeps getting worse each day.
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*Revelation 20:1-3: "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years [of peace on earth, also known as the millennium] should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed [set free] a little season [for a little while]."

Revelation 20:10: "And the devil that deceived them [i.e., 'the nations'] was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast [the Antichrist] and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

MARCH 19

Proverbs 19:19: "A man
[or woman or child] of great wrath [anger] shall suffer punishment [or 'pay a price']: for if thou deliver [or rescue] him [or her] [once, from trouble], yet thou must do it again [and again]."

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, which focuses on dealing with uncontrolled anger.

Here is an excerpt from the section entitled "The Consequences of His Sin":

"h. Demonstrating anger in public can cause you embarrassment.

"i. It can be more serious if results in arguments and loss of friends.

"j. It can have a more serious penalty if it causes you to lose your job.

"k. It can be even worse if you end up killing someone out of anger and are sent to death row.

"l. The penalties for anger vary greatly depending upon the circumstances."

The section entitled "The Futility of Delivering Him" has the following excellent advice on tough love:

"2. But here Solomon states how futile it is to try to bail out an angry man from the messes he makes for himself.

"3. If you deliver him (bail him out of the mess he made), you will just have to do it again… and again… and again… and again…

"4. In other words, Solomon says, let him suffer the divinely appointed punishment that anger deserves.

"5. If you keep on bailing him out, he never pays the price… and thus never learns the lesson.

"6. That is hard to do if it is a loved one. However, sometimes love has to be tough.

"a. But remember what he said in vs. [verse] 18 [of Proverbs]: 'Let not your soul spare for his crying.'

"b. That same principle parents need to employ in dealing with LITTLE children have to employ in dealing with GROWN children too.

"c. Hearing the little child cry breaks the heart of the parent spanking the child.

"d. Solomon says: Don't stop spanking. They NEED to learn the lesson. Don't allow emotion to cause you to ROB that child of the discipline he needs to learn from the lesson.

"e. The same truth is found in the next passage. This is really the same kind of situation-only an advanced case.

"f. Don't allow your emotions to cause you to bail him or her out of trouble. They need to learn the lesson the hard way… by paying the price.

"7. If you don't take heed… and you keep bailing him out, you will find yourself stuck in a revolving door… an endless cycle of bailing him out… and because he didn't pay the price, he didn't learn the lesson, and doesn't control his anger, and thus it will explode again… only to start the cycle all over again…

"8. At some point you have say, 'Enough is enough. It's time to pay the price.'"

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_19/
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MARCH 18

Proverbs 18:7: "A fool's
[big] mouth is [the reason for] his [or her] destruction [ruined life], and his [or her] lips are the snare of [trap for] his [or her] soul."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that a person's "foolish, thoughtless, arrogant, insensitive, careless, mean-spirited speech" can result in his or her ruin, and he gives examples of  how the bad things that we do with our lips (lie, deceive, brag and boast, curse, threaten, blaspheme, gossip, etc.) have consequences--from something as minor as embarrassment to something serious, like being kicked out of school or having to spend time in prison.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_7/.

MARCH 17

Psalm 118:1: "O give thanks unto the LORD
[God]; for he is good: because his mercy [kindness, compassion, forgiveness of sins] endureth [continues, lasts] for ever."

MARCH 16

Proverbs 16:29: "A violent man
[an immoral and/or cruel person, especially if he/she enjoys hurting others,] enticeth [tempts, lures, persuades] his [or her] neighbour [or friend, relative, acquaintance (someone he/she knows, but not very well), companion, etc.--in particular, one who is gullible or naive] [to sin], and leadeth him [or her, meaning the 'neighbour'] into the way that is not good."

In this proverb, we are being warned to stay away from bad people and bad behavior. Consequently, we should avoid associating with the following types of people: gang members, troublemakers, drug addicts, drug dealers, alcoholics, gamblers, loan sharks, robbers, adulterers, fornicators, etc.

In other words, according to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church, "Do not be partakers of other men's sins."

If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary on this verse, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_29/
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MARCH 15

Proverbs 15:3: "The eyes of the LORD are in every place
[everywhere in the universe], beholding [watching, observing] the evil and the good [referring to 'bad' and 'good' people and the bad and good things that they do]."

It's impossible to hide from Almighty God, who is omnipresent (present in all places at all times) and omniscient (all-knowing). In addition to seeing and hearing the things that humans normally see and hear, God is able to read the thoughts of everyone on earth, and he also knows everything that is being, and has been, said and done in secret.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. Here are some reminders from paragraph 8 (near the end of the commentary) for the times when we are tempted to sin:

"d. Knowing this truth about God [i.e., that he is omniscient] has a wholesome effect on our lives.
" When you are thinking about cheating on a science test at school… or you are planning to not do your homework and think you can get away with it tonight… God knows.
" When you think that I can loaf at work today because the boss is away on a business trip… God sees.
" When you think that you can give a sweet and syrupy answer… and harbor bitterness in your heart at the same time… God sees our heart."

If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_3/.

Commenting on the above verse, Matthew Henry said, "… The wicked shall not go unpunished, nor the righteous unrewarded, for God has his eye upon both and knows their true character; this speaks as much comfort to saints [born-again Christians] as terror to sinners [unsaved people]." (Source for quote: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/15.html, "Verse 3")

MARCH 14

Proverbs 14:7: "Go from the presence of
[go away from] a foolish man [or woman or child], when thou perceivest not [you don't discern, observe, detect, sense] in him [or her] the lips [language, speech] of knowledge [understanding, wisdom]."

When you realize that someone is a fool, walk away (and/or stay away) from him or her.

Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse, including examples of why we shouldn't associate with fools (in this case, referring to people who are not necessarily stupid but who refuse to listen and learn). It also tells us what to look for when meeting someone for the first time, because "… Fools don't normally introduce themselves as such. … They don't say, 'Glad to meet you. I'm your local fool.' … 'I hate wisdom; I despise authority; I'm immoral; I refuse correction, and I am headed for trouble. What's your name?'"

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_7/.

Regarding the above verse, another Bible commentator said: "Avoid the company and conversation of ungodly men, when they break forth into foolish or wicked discourses, lest thou either be infected by them, or seem to approve of them." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-7.html, "Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible")

MARCH 13

Proverbs 13:20: "He
[or she] that walketh [through life] with wise men [or women or children, referring to the person who spends lots of time with people who are wise] shall be wise: but a companion [close friend] of fools shall be destroyed [or morally ruined]."

As the saying goes, "A man is known by the company he keeps." Consequently, we need to choose our friends carefully.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse and shows the various ways (both good and bad) in which friends and companions can influence our behavior. For example, for our friends, we should choose people who are wise, who love God and the Bible, and who encourage us and give good advice, and we should stay away from violent, angry people and those who drink too much, abuse drugs, and/or do other bad things.

The above commentary ends with the following caution:

"c. If the ones you commune with on a daily basis… fellowship together with… are evil, it will have a corrupting effect on your life!
"» Your love for holiness will be adversely affected.
"» Your attraction to earthly things will increase.
"» Your fear of God will be diminished.
"» Your horror over sin will be neutralized.
"» Your resolve to obey God's Word will be weakened.
"» Your separation from the world will be compromised.
"» Your zeal to evangelize will cool down…
"» You may not notice it at first, but it will happen… gradually… a change will take place in your life.
"» If you see that beginning to happen FLEE! Seek good, godly fellowship and friendship."

If you want to read this commentary, here's the link:
https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-13-index/proverbs-13_20/.

Commenting on the above verse, Adam Clarke wrote: "To walk with a person implies love and attachment; and it is impossible not to imitate those we love. So we say, 'Show me his company, and I'll tell you the man.' Let me know the company he keeps, and I shall easily guess his moral character." (Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/13-20.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")

MARCH 12

Jeremiah 17:14: "Heal me, O LORD
[God], and I shall be healed [physically (i.e., from illnesses, injuries, etc.) and spiritually (i.e., from temptation and sin)]; save me, and I shall be saved [from harm and from hell]: for thou art [you are] [the reason for] my praise."

MARCH 11

Proverbs 11:14: "Where no counsel
[direction, guidance, advice--especially good spiritual advice] is, the people [individuals as well as kingdoms, nations, etc.] fall [into ruin and destruction, or are defeated]: but in the multitude [abundance, large number] of counsellors [advisers] there is safety."

We all need excellent advice before making important decisions.

Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. It includes many examples of how wise counsel, or good advice, can help people succeed, plus reasons why people refuse to accept advice (mostly due to pride) and why getting advice from more than a few people at a time is a good idea.

According to Pastor Jim Delany, who wrote the commentary, sometimes it's sufficient to get advice from only one or two people. However, there are times when you need input from many more than that. This is what he said in the last half of the commentary about having a multitude of counsellors:

"2. Multitude = abundance;

"a. It is possible to get TOO MANY opinions and cause more confusion.

"b. But get AMPLE… an abundance for the situation… plenty… don't skimp on advice.

"c. Get GOOD advice. Ask spiritually minded people for help and guidance… folks who know God and who know His word.

"d. When you get a multitude of spiritually minded people all pointing you in the same direction… all telling you the same thing… that is a good indication that the counsel is sound!

"e. If you are debating whether to go into business with Fred and you ask two people, you might get two different answers… and cause confusion and cloud up the issue.

"f. But if you ask 25 people about going into business with Fred and 23 out of 25 tell you that Fred is lazy and dishonest, stay away-you would do well to listen to that multitude of counselors!

"g. Two opinions might confuse the issue. A multitude may clarify matters considerably."

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-11-index/proverbs-11_14/
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MARCH 10

Proverbs 10:22 "The blessing of the LORD
[in this case, probably referring to the earthly (physical) blessings (riches, material possessions, etc.), rather than spiritual blessings, that come from God], it maketh [a person] rich, and he [God] addeth no sorrow with it."

God's blessings (especially when accompanied by hard work on our part) come without worries or regrets. Consequently, we should appreciate and enjoy the good things that we have, and we should thank God for them.

Salem Bible Church has two commentaries on this verse. If you want to read one or both of them, here are the links:

-- https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-10-index/proverbs-10_22/
-- https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-10-index/proverbs-10_22b/

The following are excerpts from the first commentary (listed above) showing how some people try to get rich (and usually fail to do so) without God's help:

"6. Some men seek for riches without diligence [hard work]…

"a. Gambling and casino betting is all based on this aspect of human nature-get rich quick!"

"7. Others seek riches by diligence … and ignore GOD as the source of blessing."

"c. Ecc. [Ecclesiastes] 9:10 - Work your hardest and do your best! (man's responsibility)
" [Ecclesiastes] vs. [verse] 11 - but don't ever ignore the sovereignty of God!
" The race is not always to the fastest runner! (He could have a cold that day; trip over his shoestrings; the sole of his sneaker could come apart;
" A ski racer-he could be the best-but he could always hit a patch of ice…
" The battle isn't always to the biggest, best equipped and best trained soldiers either! Consider Israel against Egypt! How could the Egyptians ever have imagined that they would be defeated? Who could have imagined the Red Sea opening!?
" Bread is not always to the wise! You may make the wisest investments humanly possible on Wall Street-and the unthinkable could occur… war could break out… a new technology could render your investment obsolete…
" A farmer could work his hardest planting his crops-and the Lord may hold back on the rain…
" Robert Burns put it this way: The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley (often go astray)!"

MARCH 8-9

Matthew 8:23-27 - Jesus Calms the Storm

Verses 23-24: "And when he
[Jesus] was entered into a ship [probably a sailboat, or a fishing boat with sails] [on the Sea of Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee)], his disciples [referring to the twelve men who were later called apostles] followed him [Jesus] [into the ship]. And, behold [look, see], there arose a great tempest [violent storm] in the sea, insomuch [so] that the ship was covered with the waves [and in danger of sinking]: but he [Jesus] was asleep."

Verses 25-26: "And his disciples came to him, and awoke
[awakened] him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish [or, 'save our lives; we are perishing,' which meant, 'help us or we'll die']. And he [Jesus] saith [said] unto them, Why are ye fearful [afraid], O ye of little faith? Then he arose [stood up], and rebuked [restrained, brought under control, held back] the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm [state of tranquility, or calmness of the sea]."

Verse 27: "But the men marvelled
[were amazed, astonished, filled with wonder], saying, What manner [kind] of man is this [referring to Jesus], that even the winds and the sea obey him!"

The disciples realized that Jesus was not an ordinary man, because only God could have performed a miracle like this. And according to the Bible, that's exactly what Jesus was (and is)--the Son of God, or God the Son, in human form.

In addition to proving that Jesus is God, this story shows that God answers prayer, even for those with "little faith."

MARCH 7

1 John 4:19: "We
[Christians] love him [God], because he first loved us."

God loves us unconditionally. To find out what that means, read this article: "Is God's love conditional or unconditional?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/unconditional-love.html.

MARCH 4-6

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - The Rapture
In a letter to the Christians at Thessalonica, the apostle Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, wrote:

Verse 13: "But I [Paul] would not have you to be ignorant [lacking in knowledge] [about the rapture], brethren [brothers (and sisters), referring to believers (fellow Christians) in the church], concerning them which are asleep [in this case, meaning Christians who are dead], [so] that ye sorrow not [you aren't overwhelmed by sadness or grief from their loss], even as [are] others [i.e., unsaved people] which have no hope [of resurrection and eternal life, and of seeing their loved ones again in heaven]."

Verse 14: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus
[i.e., the souls/spirits of born-again Christians who have died] will God [the Son--Jesus] bring with him [at the rapture]."

Verse 15: "For this we
[Paul, Silas, and Timothy] say unto you by the word of the Lord [by a direct revelation from God], that we [Christians] which are alive and remain [survive] unto [until] the coming of the Lord [in this case, referring to the rapture] shall not prevent [precede, or go before] them which are asleep [i.e., dead, meaning that the bodies of Christians who have died will be resurrected first]."

Verse 16: "For
[because,] [at the rapture,] the Lord [Jesus Christ] himself shall descend [come down] from heaven with a shout [from himself], [and] with the voice of the archangel [probably the voice of Michael, who is one of the most important and most powerful angels of God], and with [the sound of] the trump [trumpet] of God: and the dead in Christ [i.e., the bodies of born-again Christians who have died] shall rise [up from the dead and be reunited with their souls/spirits] first:"

Verse 17: "Then we which are alive and remain
[on earth] shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected Christians] in the clouds [with our newly changed, immortal bodies--see verse below*], to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever [forever, always] be with the Lord [Jesus Christ] [in heaven]."

Verse 18: "Wherefore [therefore,] [Christians,] comfort [encourage] one another with these words."

Nobody knows when the rapture will occur. It could happen today, tomorrow, next month, next year, or many years from now. Hopefully, you'll be among the Christians who "disappear" at that time.

For an in-depth explanation of the rapture, read "What Will Happen At the Rapture?" by Dr. Raymond Barber. Here's the link: https://www.soulwinning.info/prophecy/rapture-raymond_barber.htm.

If you want to take part in the rapture but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website at
https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.

If you're a born-again Christian and love the Bible, you may be interested in what T.W. Tramm has to say. He has done much research on the Bible and is an expert on the fulfillment of prophecy, especially as it relates to the rapture. He has a Facebook page and periodically posts updates on the rapture in light of current events. His latest entry, dated March 2 and entitled "Spring Is Near," is very interesting and encouraging for Christians. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/twtramm/.
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*1 Corinthians 15:51-53: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

MARCH 1-3

Proverbs 1:7: "The fear of the LORD
[which means not only being afraid of Almighty God (especially of disobeying, displeasing, or offending him in any way), but also having great respect, admiration, and love for him] is the beginning of knowledge: but fools [people who do not fear God] despise [hate] wisdom and instruction."

In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church explains the meaning of the phrase fear of the LORD and tells why fearing God is the principal part of knowledge. He says that having the fear of God will help us know many things, including: (1) how to avoid marital problems, (2) why we are here, (3) where the sun and moon came from, (4) how we can get to heaven, (5) how to deal with the problem of self-control (over things like alcohol, drugs, lust, sexual sins, greed, anger, etc.), and (6) the right way to bring up our children.

If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-1-index/proverbs-1_7/.


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